- The Three Linden Trees
"The Three Linden Trees" ("Drei Linden") is a 1912
fairy taleby Herman Hessestrongly influenced by the Greek legend of Damon and Pythias. The story, set in the medievalperiod, tries to explain three huge lindentrees whose branches intertwine to cover the entire cemetery of the Hospital of the Holy Spirit in Berlin.
According to the story, three brothers care very deeply for each other. One day, the youngest brother comes across a
blacksmith's apprentice who has just been stabbed to death. While he decides whether to tell the authorities or to flee the scene of the crime, the city constables find him and arrest him for the murder. At his trial, facts come out that link him to the victim, and it appears that he will be hanged, despite all his protests that he is innocent.
Just then, the middle brother returns from a trip and hears what has happened. Not wanting to see his brother executed, he appears in court and accuses himself of the murder. He is locked up while the judge tries to determine who the real murderer is. Shortly after, the eldest brother returns home from his travels and, learning what happened to his two younger brother, accuses himself of the crime. He too is arrested. When the youngest brother unwittingly discovers what his two brothers have done on his behalf, he tearfully admits to the judge that he is the murderer.
Not knowing who to blame, the judge turns to the local
prince. He does not believe that any of the brothers is guilty, but realizes that one of them must be punished for the crime. To resolve the problem, he announces that he will leave it up to Godand comes up with an ordeal. Each of the brothers will plant a linden tree with its crown in the ground and its roots in the sky. Whoever's tree withered first would be considered the murderer.
The unexpected happened and all three trees began to grow and flourish. All three brothers were innocent, so all three trees thrive. These are the trees overhanging the cemetery outside the Hospital of the Holy Spirit.
The story, written in German and published in "
Die Alpen" in 1912, is indicative of Hesse's rejection of the rigid moralityof the Judeo-Christiantradition. Both the judge and the prince are determined to find one of the brothers guilty, because no crime can remain unpunished. Ironically, it is God Himself who rejects this notion of innocence and guilt, and causes the ordeal to fail.
The story can be found in "
The Complete Fairy Tales of Hermann Hesse".
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
The Complete Fairy Tales of Hermann Hesse — Infobox Book name = The Complete Fairy Tales of Hermann Hesse title orig = translator = Jack Zipes image caption = author = Hermann Hesse illustrator = cover artist = country = United States language = English series = subject = genre = Short… … Wikipedia
The Sea Monster — The Sea Monster, 25.2 × 18.7 cm The Sea Monster (German: Das Meerwunder) is a c. 1498–1500 engraving by the German Renaissance master Albrecht Dürer. It shows a voluptuous naked middle aged woman riding on the back of a male creature who is half… … Wikipedia
Linden — is one of three English names for the tree genus Tilia (also known as lime and basswood ). Linden may also refer to:PlacesLinden is widely used as a place name, very often being a place where linden trees grow: *Linden, New South Wales, a village … Wikipedia
The Land (fiction) — This article is about the setting for a series of books by Stephen R. Donaldson. For other uses, see The Land (disambiguation) The Land is the primary setting for the series of fantasy books by Stephen R. Donaldson called The Chronicles of Thomas … Wikipedia
Linden Oak — After the 2002 loss of the famous Wye Oak in Wye Mills, Maryland, the 275 year old Linden Oak in North Bethesda, Maryland, has, by some reckonings, become the largest white oak tree in the United States. It is located beside the junction of… … Wikipedia
The Mountain pine forest — Geobox Protected Area name = The Mountain pine forest on adjournment of paleogen in a quarter 8 Sengileevsk of a forest area, Sengileevsk of timber enterprise native name = other name = other name1 = category local = Natural monument of Russia… … Wikipedia
The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, the Unbeliever — is a trilogy of fantasy novels by Stephen R. Donaldson. It was followed by The Second Chronicles of Thomas Covenant , also a trilogy, and The Last Chronicles of Thomas Covenant , a planned tetralogy.The main character is Thomas Covenant, a… … Wikipedia
Trees of Britain and Ireland — Many lists of Trees of Britain and Ireland have been written. There are a number of issues surrounding the inclusion of a species in such a list. As can be seen from the outline of debate below, there is no correct list of trees of Britain and… … Wikipedia
The Bronx — Bronx redirects here. For other uses, see Bronx (disambiguation). The Bronx Borough of New York City Bronx County Motto: Ne cede malis Do not give way to evil … Wikipedia
The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen — For the film adaptation, see The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (film). Not to be confused with the British comedy team The League of Gentlemen or the British crime film The League of Gentlemen (film). The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen… … Wikipedia